Widows flash fishery

November 18th

widdows fishery

With the weather looking pretty reasonable for the time of year , blue skies , light winds and a settled ten degree temperature which had been similar all week , so with this in mind i decided to make the effort to get on the bank again for the first time in a couple of months after my little operation just to see if i could get the enjoyment back . Obviously when you are pleasure fishing you want a few bites to keep you active and warm so today i would be hopefully targeting the silvers , which are plentiful in Widdows flash fishery with some nice sized skimmers and roach although i had not been here in a couple of years but i couldn’t see much changing in that time .

After my short ten minute drive to the fishery i was surprised to see half a dozen anglers already there which looked promising although they was on the favoured pegs , from previous experience i knew that the car park side pegs were very shallow so those were out of the question and i finally settled on peg 19 were it was a couple of feet deeper but i had to contend with the footpath behind me although i could not see that being too much of a problem in the brisk conditions and i could always break down twice if it got busy with dog walkers .

On settling in at my home for the next couple of hours i decided to keep things simple while it was a short session and i just set up ;

top four line towards my left at the bottom of the near slope in 4ft and i would feed this by hand with maggots so used a 4×10 maggie float with a strung out shotting pattern , main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size 20 guru maggot hook attached .

eight meter line down the center of the lake were it was just over five foot deep and i would feed maggots here by catty so i used a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern  , main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

At eleven o’clock i was ready to start fishing and as i was setting up i kept an eye on those other anglers near me but i had only seen one small silver being caught , so with this in mind i was going to be very wary with the amount of bait i put in . I sprinkled a dozen maggots in down the track and began on my top four swim throwing four maggots around my float every couple of minutes then laying my rig through the falling bait , after nearly an hour i was still biteless and i had still only seen that small silver been caught right at the start of the session , so i needed to either have a review of things or just pack up and go home thankfully i managed to talk myself into doing the former of them and plumbed up a couple of new swims ;

13m directly in front at the bottom of the far bank slope were it was just over 4ft deep

13m towards my right down the middle of the track were i found a small meter by meter hole where it was just six-inch deeper at just over five foot but it could make all the difference at this time of year when the fishing was difficult .

pushed my top four swim about six-inch further down the near side slope ;

I also mixed up half a pint of micros too see if the fish meal could get the skimmers interested in feeding and i decided to kinder pot in some pellets plus a couple of maggots directly in front of me then potted twice that amount on my long channel swim which i would leave for at least twenty minutes so that hopefully the skimmers would settle on it , all the time that i had done the alterations to my swims i had continued to loose feed maggots on my top four swim so i gave this another try while my other lines settled down a bit . It took about five minutes before i finally had my first indication and i then had four nice sized roach on the bounce , i couldn’t quite work out if it was just the time of day or that the slight drop down the slope had made that much of a difference but i wasnt complaining anyway .

I decided to rest my top four swim for a while and went on to my 13m line directly in front of me , after taping in a couple of maggots plus a sprinkling of micros and no sooner had my float settled then it slide under with a ten ounce skimmer making its way to the bank , for the next thirty minutes i kept putting the odd fish in the net and i was quite happy getting a few bites at last but i had to be really careful with the amount of feed i was putting in because if i over did it i would have to wait quite some time for an indication .

After awhile the bites on my long line had almost disappeared i didn’t want to kill the swim completely so i gave it another feed of micros before giving it a rest and trying my channel swim , i had to wait a lot longer for indications but the fish i did catch were well worth it because they were skimmers touching the two-pound mark and for the rest of my short session i rotated between all three swims picking a couple of fish off from each before swapping lines . At three o’clock it got noticeably colder and i was waiting a lot longer for a bite so i made the decision to call time on my fishing and after my very poor start i was pleased to end up with thirty skimmers plus a dozen roach for about twenty pounds , not to bad in the conditions and after my break away from the sport lets hope i don’t leave it as long before my next trip out on the bank .



Widdows flash

May 3rd , peg 24

With the weather taking a turn for the better at long last and while i was still of work after the long bank holiday i decided to spent a few hours on Widdows flash in Springview near Wigan it was a thirty peg fishery were you could drive round to every one of them and it had an island around sixteen meters away , it had a good head of carp+silvers and it was the latter that i fancied catching as it had been awhile since i caught a good net of them plus i had about three pints of maggots remaining from the weekends matches .

At around dinner time i headed off on the short ten minute journey to the fishery and when i arrived there was a few anglers dotted about they were mainly on the cabin side which i felt was the poorer area so i drove round to peg 24 which was just off the board pegs these have a good reputation when targeting silvers so i was quite happy to be able to set up there , as i was only having a short session i choose to fish a nice comfortable six meters setting up two rigs ;

Deep shallow rig which was set at four feet deep nearly two foot of the deck and i used a 0.2 maggie float that had an on the drop shotting pattern , my main line was 012 garbo and i had a six-inch 009 garbo hook length which had a size twenty matrix silver fish hook .

Shallow rig which was set at two foot and i used an 0.1 matrix series three float that had just a couple of number eleven stotz spread down the 012 garbo main line , i had a six-inch 009 garbo hook length which had a size twenty matrix silver fish hook and my elastic for both rigs was solid number five preston slip.

Bait couldn’t be simpler just three pints of red and white maggots that were just beginning to turn .

All the time i had set up i was firing in a dozen maggots at six meters and although i had not seen any swirls i was confident of catching pretty quickly , i picked up my deep shallow rig first and as expected it didn’t take me too long before i began getting indications ,at first they were hand sized skimmers but the longer i fished the bigger they became and i had a couple around 1.5lb but most were around ten ounce although i was a bit surprised that i wasnt catching more roach .

The weather today was quite sunny+warm but was also a bit blustery and although it didn’t really affect the lake as it was situated in a dip surrounded by trees the problem i faced was the scum on the surface of the water kept settling in my peg making it hard to get a good presentation at times , i managed to get into a good rhythm with my feeding as i would ;

feed then ship out

feed when i got an indication

then feed again when i netted the fish

it was all a time in motion exercise for about an hour then the bites seemed to tail off and i had to work hard to keep in touch with the fish , i did give my two foot rig a go but it didn’t really produce apart from a couple of small roach and a really nice golden rudd .It became clear that the bigger skimmers seemed happiest at four-foot just hanging off the bottom and i decided to concentrate my remaining time with the deeper rig , i would get a run of six nice fish before bites tailed off for about twenty minutes before they came back and it seemed that they were just cruising about in small shoals some of the skimmers showed signs of spawning tubercles which might go some way to explaining it .

With about thirty minutes of my session i decided to try fishing at four-foot on the deck and after plumbing up i found it on my top three at the side of some reeds , i initially began feeding quite heavily to attract a few fish on to this line before easing off when i started catching and this worked ok i caught a few skimmers although they wasnt as big as when fishing six meters but maybe if i had given it a bit longer things might have improved

I really enjoyed my day’s fishing catching nearly forty skimmers plus a dozen hand sized roach for about twenty pounds which made a nice change from catching f1s and on a side note the few anglers that i could keep tabs on who we’re targeting the carp across to the island seemed to be struggling although there was a few cruising about , well that’s todays short session over with and i am planning on getting back to Heronbrook for the Saturday open at the weekend .

Thanks for reading .

Widdows flash

March 10th , peg 26


After managing to get off work a bit earlier than usual i decided to have a few hours fishing to practice my short-range tip work , i had planned on going to Sycamore fishery which had shown signs of improvement looking at the weekends match results but i decided to go on Widdows flash because my mate text me earlier in the day saying that he was going their .

On arrival at the venue i was surprised to see half a dozen anglers fishing with most of them congregating towards the pegs in the thirties which usually through up plenty of carp in the colder months , i decided to sit on peg 26 which was near the board pegs another good area plus it was only a short walk from the rear car-park .As i had decided to only fish the tip rod i was set up in no time and at 3 o’clock i was ready to start , with only pellets on my side tray it should be a fairly straight forward and just needed to keep my casting tight .

I decided to cast every five minutes for the first half hour to put a bit of bait down before leaving it a while longer after that and would the regularity of bites-liners tell me how long to wait , i was casting a couple of feet off the far-bank in the slightly deeper water and it didn’t take long before i began getting twitches on the rod tip nothing positive though , when these disappeared i had to begin casting with more regularity because i noticed that i would get indications almost as soon as the feeder landed . I tried changing hook baits to a semi buoyant band-um but this didn’t work neither did a smaller 4mm pellet .


My mate was also struggling to catch fishing in the channel and from where i was sitting i could only see one person catch he was on the flyer peg 36 fishing 17m under the aerator , so you could say it was going to be a tough one but after an hour my tip finally pulled round proper and i was attached to a nice 1lb plus skimmer . I hopped that this was the first of many but i wasnt that lucky as it signaled the end of any more liners or bites . The lad that i was with started putting a run of tiny silvers together plus the odd one around 8oz , so with nothing happening across i decided to start a new swim casting in the channel towards peg 25 and just like at the beginning of my session i was getting plenty liners but still no proper indications i’m pretty sure that these were from the tiny silvers my mate was catching .

After another bitless hour i decided to go back across but casting a lot closer to the far-bank i was even contemplating changing from my pellet feeder to a small banjo but kept things the same , i thought that maybe i was casting a bit too frequent and that was the reason the small silvers moved in .So i decided to leave it up to twenty minutes before re-casting and i don’t know if by doing this or the light beginning to fade but i had a proper pull round which saw me attached to a big carp this unfortunately broke my 014 hook length as i was struggling to free the line from behind the line clip on the reel .


On my next cast the feeder was only in for five minutes before my next bite which nearly dragged the rod in and this time i managed to get in with no bother i soon had a near 6lb carp nestling in the net , the light was fading fast and i had just began packing up a few bits when my last cast of the session produced another carp but much smaller than my previous one . So lots for me to think about after today’s session it wasn’t exactly as hectic as i had planned and no doubt i would have caught a lot more at Sycamore fishery but on the plus side i was more than happy with my casting and the way that my rod coped with the big carp .

I’m off to Hall lane fishery on saturday for a practise on our first round supercup venue merlins canal so lets hope the carp are in a feeding mood , not sure yet about Sunday yet either Sycamore fisheries or Partridge lakes .


Widdows fishery

15th June , peg 9


Well here we go again round five of Balmoral Angling Clubs season and after a win in the last round i was looking forward to this one as its one of the venues on our match calendar that i have done well on with two consecutive thirds .

The lake has 36 pegs which enabled me to give most anglers plenty of room , it has an island which you can reach at 16 meters and it has a good stocking off carp around the 3lb mark with lots of skimmers to catch too .As you can drive to every peg on here and with everyone present we decided on an early draw , when it came for my turn i was left with peg 9 right at the side of the car-park which is far from where i wanted to be but everyone in my section was in the same boat .


On my last two matches here i have done really well targeting the skimmers and with the recent changeable weather i felt that was the best way to fish it today ,especially after finding out their had been a match the day before which was only won with 25 lb and as you all know waters don’t fish well when there’s two matches in as many days .

I decided to fish a few areas ;

16 m , i had 2 rigs for this line one at 1ft the other at 2ft both had 0.12 garbo direct to a size 20 f1 hook with a micro bait band and my elastic was red matrix

5 m ,i used a 0.4 scone float with 0.12 garbo line direct to a size 16 gamma pellet hook with red matrix elastic

Margin ,i used 4×12 malmam diamond float with 0.14 garbo direct to a size 16 guru lwg hook and my elastic was yellow matrix .


My bait was ;

1/2 kilo worm

1/2 pint micro

1/2 pint ground-bait

1 pint hard 4mm pellets

When the all in sounded i put two big pots in on my 5 meter line which i intended to leave for an hour for the skimmers to settle and so while i was waiting i went across to try to catch a couple of bonus carp , i started on my 2 ft rig because it wasn’t that warm yet and their hadn’t been any carp showing along the far-bank either .

I began by pushing my rig tight under the far bank rushes and then flicked four pellets at the float every few minutes,but nothing seemed to be working and thirty minutes in i was still bite less-fishless . Every one else seemed to be in the same boat apart from the lad to my left who was catching the odd fish on his feeder ,i began getting the odd indication but nothing i could hit so i decided to change to my shallower rig a bit earlier than i had planned .


This produced a solitary carp about 2 lb which but up a fight of a fish three times its size , so in the first hour i had not a great deal to show for it but neither had anyone else and it was fishing extremely hard .So i decided to go on my skimmer line which i had hoped would be my main line of attack but unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way , first drop and my float slid away so i counted to three before a firm strike which saw a tiny perch fly out the water followed by another of similar size .

I decided on a refeed to try to draw some fish into my peg this kind of worked with a few small 8 oz roach , when i did finally hook a big skimmer it did its best dolphin impression shedding my hook in the process , after two hours i was going nowhere fast with less than 3 lb in the net .So i decided on a new swim at 11 meters and fed this swim negatively with a kinder pot .

I went back on to my far-bank without success but when i noticed bubbles coming up from my negatively fed line , i took the opportunity to drop my rig over the top and this did not produce the hoped for skimmer but another small carp . A few small silvers came to the net so i risked another feed and it seemed that i had stumbled on a pattern with the bites because after 15 minutes i would hook something decent just as the bubbles appeared before the small silvers returned .

You will notice that i said hooked and not caught because i had two more big skimmers shed the hook plus i lost a 5 lb ghostie which somehow managed to break my main line above my float just as i was about to net it and after putting another rig on – plumbing up it disrupted my swim which never recovered because it never produced another bite.


So in the last hour i concentrated along the far-bank hoping for a few carp to boost my weight and their fore push me higher up the match placings , i missed a few bites but did manage another solitary carp around the 3 lb mark . When the all out sounded majority of the anglers were relieved because it had fished extremely hard as you can tell by the weights and my near 13 lb was good enough for sixth but if i had landed the lost fish it would have raised me up to third .

Having had a few late nights and early mornings leading up to the match definitely had a baring today on my decision-making because ;

1, I knew before the match that expander was working better than hard pellets tight across and feeding also seemed to make the fish back off .

2, The lad too my left fished the feeder across all match managed third so with the lack of carp showing shallow and the fact he was catching , it should have made me set up a deck rig for tight across especially after seeing the lad to my right catch four carp in the last hour doing just that .

3, Should never have big potted knowing the match result from the previous day and two negative lines would have worked better .

4, With more composure i might have landed a couple of the lost fish .

Any way we now have a mid-season break before some more dodgy matches that I’m not looking forward to fishing , but i am still second on the overall club points not bad after missing one match but i can not afford to miss any more because it’s getting tight at the top and i am having another enforced break while the wife works away it is something that i will just have to get used to but at least it will give me time to recharge my batteries .

1st Dave peg 19 , 41lb 12oz

2nd Aidy peg 7 , 27 lb 14oz

3rd Terry snr peg 35 , 26 lb 2oz



Widdows fishery

peg 6 , January 8th

widdows fishery

widdows fishery

With the weather being a bit un-settled recently i decided to make the most of a fore-cast dry day and sneak a few hours fishing after dinner when i had finished work . Widdows fishery is some where that i don’t visit that often even though it is right on my door step , in fact i haven’t been since the club match in June when i came second with 40 lb of skimmers on worm and caster .

The water its self has thirty pegs all of which are suitable for the disabled with a ramp going to them and you can also drive round to every one to drop your tackle off , it is in the shape of an elongated doughnut with it being 16 meter to the island and it has a healthy head of carp and more importantly silvers which i intended to target today .

After ringing around to find out which pegs to sit on i got told that the low numbers where better for the skimmers because they are in a bay and it is also a bit deeper their , when i arrived the cabin was all locked up so i went to find a peg and settled on peg six because it was near where i fished the club match and i always like a contrast of summer-winter on venues .


On getting my gear together i decided to fish at 11 meter which was at the bottom of the far shelf and decided on two swims four meters apart , one was to be fed with fishery micros which i had left from my last trip for the skimmers and the other was for the roach so i fed only maggots .



After plumbing up i found a touch over four-foot so i used a 4×14 malmams speedy float with a bulk and dropper shotting pattern , my main line was 0.12 garbo with a 0.10 hook length with a size 18 gamma pellet hook and it would seem a bit heavy a set up for silvers but there is always a chance of a carp or too .



1/2 pint red maggots

1/2 pint soaked fishery pellets

small tub 4mm expanders normal and white

At 1 pm i was ready to start fishing and i began by feeding my skimmer line with a medium kinder pot of micros squeezed into a ball so they would go straight to the bottom and i would keep doing this every ten minutes , leaving it for at least an hour before going on to it giving the skimmers every chance to settle when hopefully i could bag up .  I started off on my roach line and began by kinder potting maggots before later in the session i would catty them in because they had moved up in the water .


It took all of ten minutes before a 10 oz skimmer took a liking to my double red maggot hook bait which was a nice surprise , it slowed down a touch but i was confident of catching on my pellet line later and of course i wanted to catch some thing while i was waiting for them to arrive .I began flicking a few maggots at the float to try to get some roach interested and this worked to some extent with the odd nice stamp silver coming my way , in the first hour i had six roach and skimmers .

I decided to give this line a rest and go on to my pellet swim and i went in with an expander on the hook 15 minutes past with out a single indication not what i was expecting , i decided to change my hook bait for a maggot and this resulted in me catching a small roach so i had a decision to make and with it only being a short session i decided to leave my pellet line and concentrate only on my maggot swim because i was catching quicker there .


With the fish all being of similar stamp to those at Heskin i decided to swap rigs to the one i used on their , to see if i could get more bites using it and if by chance i did hook a carp i would have to be ultra careful .


Maver 0.3 float with a thin nylon bristle to show up any little indication the shotting pattern was the same bulk and dropper style , my main line was 0.10 garbo with a 1 ft long 0.07 hook length attached to a size 20 gamma black hook .

This rig worked a treat and i was getting more and more bites , the tiny dinks i was getting before were now more positive indications and this resulted in my catch rate doubling but they was all nice sized roach . I was still flicking six maggots every few minutes and this brought them up in the water so another change of shotting pattern for an on the drop one , resulted in my catch rate continuing along the same line and surprisingly i never had a bite on the drop but they all came as soon as the float settled .


I was enjoying my self catching the pristine looking roach but with time running out i wanted to see if i could get the bigger stamp of skimmer feeding , so i changed back to a bulk-dropper shotting pattern and began kinder potting loose micros . I decided to sit it out with an expander on the hook and after a 15 minute wait my float slid under which resulted in my biggest fish of the day a nice 2 lb skimmer ., but bites were few and far between and a change of hook bait back to maggot only resulted in more roach . So i decided to get my head down and see how many fish i could catch in the remaining thirty minutes and at 4 pm it began getting dark so i decided to call it a day with me catching 39 fish mostly roach in three hours , which is a good catch rate by any ones standard and i doubt that i would have caught that much if i hadn’t changed my rig .